12.24.2005

You know when you're outside of civilization when...

...people are still renting VHS tapes.

Come on dad - I have a DVD player!

Oh Crap!

Ah crap, its Christmas already. Thank goodness I already got all my shopping done, but the cards are still on the table - just waiting for stamps. Good thing I got 'happy holidays' cards instead of the Christmas ones. I just don't have stamps - ah well, I'll send them out on Tuesday when I don't go into work. Kitty and I are at the folks' place - he's starting to warm up to the dog, but its slow going. Bill went home to Canada for Christmas - I'll be catching up with him for New Years to celebrate.

I've totally started listening to the frenchpodcast - might as well start learning some french before I immigrate. I'm kind of floating on lesson one still - but I just started and I'm repeating the lessons to get it all down. Soon, Bill and I can curse tourists at the MOA and they'll never know. Hehehe, hahaha (evil menancing laugh here.)

Anyway, have a good one!

12.23.2005

DirectTV Tivo wannabe

Engadget

I'll stick with the real thing.

12.19.2005

Family Guy - Ruined



Oh what luck, "Family Guy" was totally rocking last night, but what had to happen - Bush had to make some stupid speach to try to raise his ratings. Unfortunately, no one told my Tivo, but I still blame Bush. Why not!

12.17.2005

Fuck you Star Tribune!

They totally just scammed me for delivery I didn't ask for. Oh, those bastards. I'm pissed right now.

12.16.2005

a SWT review

I just caught a BusinessWeek review of the new Motorola PEBL from T-Mobile. I have no illusions regarding the less than perfect quality of the software on Motorola phones, but this review seems to suggest its not all bad with the PEBL - or perhaps he was just too taken with the design.

12.14.2005

Sweet!


Its finally out, and best yet its available from T-Mobile. Now, I just have to wait until January before I'm allowed to upgrade and get a decent deal. Which isn't bad, since its $300 right now - I wouldn't mind a price drop.

12.13.2005

Leave it alone people!

Inflatable, yard snow-globes - the one's with the blowing snow. I think they are the coolest new thing - in terms of Christmas yard decorations. But everywhere I turn, people are making fun of them, calling their display 'tacky.' WHATEVER! They're neato!

FYI - no I don't have one, Bill said they were tacky and wouldn't get one. Damn't!

12.12.2005

This weekend

I had the pleasure, or displeasure, of seeing "Rent" the movie this weekend. Whereas I enjoyed the play well enough and the movie seemed to do a good job, it just went on for way to long. Just when you thought it was over, BAM!, it started up again. Ah well, I'll get to cleanse my palette this weekend with "Brokeback Mountain."

Finally, after living in the Twin Cities for seven years, I took in Marshall Fields' animatronic extravaganza display - this year: Cinderella. It really was quite interesting and cool - I really wish I would have caught the Harry Potter display in 2000. Unfortunately I was a bit slow getting on the Harry Potter boat - I'm still not interested in actually reading the books.

I actually went out this weekend - had a few drinks and did some dancing. Stayed up WAY past my usual bedtime and I don't think I yawned even once. The anxiety crept in just a little bit, but it stayed down and quiet.

12.07.2005

A Christmas present from Fitzgerald?!?

Fitzgerald is back in front of a grand jury today - perhaps working on an indictment on Rove?! One can only hope the evil penguin goes down - he's seriously bad news. The guy used to be a direct marketer for goodness sake.

12.05.2005

Please let it be so!

I stumbled upon podcasts from HBO's "ROME" mini-series, which by the way is freakin' awesome. For some reason, I thought the series of shows that just aired, highlighting the rise and sudden death of Julius Caesar, was all there would be. But just today, while listening to the interview with James Purefoy, he mentions that was just the first season! Wahoo! Please let it be so, the show was very entertaining, and damn't I want to know what happens. Eventhough I just read the whole story about Antony on wikipedia.org.

12.02.2005

Treehugger.com

I just discovered this site a few weeks ago, and it has quickly ratcheted its way into my daily routine of site surfing. (a limited and slow changing list of sites.)Admittadly, The Unofficial Apple Weblog is my favorite site for obvious reasons, but treehugger.com has become a staple. Better yet, they've been around for awhile and post often, so they have a huge archive of information.

I recently discovered new bamboo fiber bed sheets, that are softer than cotton and have the grace of silk - available at Bed, Bath & Beyond for a reasonable price. Who said being green had to be expensive. Though, granted many of the items are ridiculously expensive, but a few good deals can still be had.

Plus, I can chalk it up as research at work since construction related technologies are also mentioned!

11.19.2005

I so own it!



Its a wet saw, for cutting tile. I've been cutting slate all day for the kitchen back splash and its looking fabulous!

11.18.2005

Google Base


Its alive!  Seems the launch of Google Base has been kind of quiet - probably because it involved giving data rather than getting it.  At least for now, until there is enough stuff loaded up to make it a destination when searching for a car, recipe, job, etc, etc, etc.  Perhaps this weekend I'll start to load up a bunch of recipes.

http://base.google.com/base/step1offer

11.14.2005

A reminder

Chickenhawks


Chickenhawk n. A person enthusiastic about war, provided someone else fights it; particularly when that enthusiasm is undimmed by personal experience with war; most emphatically when that lack of experience came in spite of ample opportunity in that person’s youth.

10.30.2005

They will all be mine



I have a good start going, but its missing a few pieces and now that I've done a bit of research I have quite a few more to get. Fine China of Japan #6701 - if you got any, I may be interested.

A new record

Libby is the first Whitehouse Aide to be indicted in 130 years!! Go Bush!!

10.27.2005

Anticipation

The indictments better damn well come out tomorrow - I've been waiting over a week now. I don't imagine this will be the final nail in the coffin for these fuck-jobs, but I don't mind watching the pain.

Sirius or XM

I just can't quite decide. I've been leaning towards XM lately, they seem to have a more complete programming which includes AirAmerica Radio, Starbuck's Hear Music stations, and local traffic reports. However, Martha endorsed and gave out Sirius radios on her talk show. As good gay boys, we promptly looked at each other and asked, "Should we go with Sirius?"

10.13.2005

Off

Off to Canada for the weekend!

10.10.2005

A Question of Ethics

(Got this forward from a friend)

This test only has one question, but it's a very important one. By giving an honest answer, you will discover where you stand morally. No one else will know, so you won't be fooling anyone but yourself if you give anything but a truthful answer. The test features an unlikely, completely fictional situation in which you will have to make a decision. Remember that your answer must be honest, yet spontaneous. Please read slowly and thoughtfully, giving due consideration to each line.

Here's the situation: You are in New Orleans. There is chaos all around you caused by a hurricane with severe flooding This is a flood of biblical proportions. You are a photojournalist working for a major newspaper, and you're caught in the middle of this epic disaster. The situation is nearly hopeless. You're trying to shoot career-making photos. There are houses and people swirling around you, some disappearing under the water. Nature is unleashing all of its destructive fury….

Suddenly, you see a man floundering in the water. He is fighting for his life, trying not to be taken down with the debris. You move closer… somehow the man looks familiar. You suddenly realize who it is. It's George W. Bush, President of the United States!! At the same time you notice that the raging waters are about to take him under… forever.

You have two options - you can save the life of G. W. Bush, or you can shoot a dramatic Pulitzer Prize winning photo, documenting the death of one of the world's most powerful men.

So here's the question, and please give an honest answer: Would you select high contrast color film, or would you go with the classic simplicity of black and white?

10.09.2005

The anticipation is killing me

Apple's "One More Thing" event is Wednesday, a day after their financial results come out. I really, really doubt its going to be a video iPod, and probably the rumored Madonna Special Edition iPod nano in pink. Then ofcourse some updated PowerMacs and maybe some other small things, but we won't know until we know. And I want to know now!

10.06.2005

The New Honda Civic Hybrid: 50/50 mpg gloriousness



OK, I've never been much for Honda vehicles - tending to prefer European cars. But with Toyota making headlines with their advances in hybrid technology and actually producing cars with the technology. I'm a little a-flutter with the new Civic - Its going to be starting at $21,000 - and it gets 50 mpg in city and highway. Thats awesome - especially compared with today's models. Now I just hope BMW can get there X3 Hybrid model out in time.

10.04.2005

I can't decide

iBook or iMac?

It's Refreshing

I find it refreshing to actually hear of conservatives talking badly about Bush and his decision making skills. Its great. Now although Rehnquist was appointed to the Supreme Court without judicial experience, I still find it irresponsible to place a rookie on our highest court. My feelings are the same with John Roberts - who had only two years of experience as a judge and now he's the Chief Justice - it seems totally inappropriate.

10.02.2005

Sunday

Life has been boring around here lately, just work and home. There was a puppy for a few days, but it didn't work out so well. Tivo has been recording all the Martha goodness out there now. Rome on HBO has been hot. The Stargates were both pretty fun for their mid-season finales, but I think Battlestar Galactica needs to be recorded now. However, probably just shutting off the TV would be a good idea. Suddenly my computer and iPod will no longer talk with each other so I'm stuck listening to my thoughts at work among the deadly quiet of the office. We're all just starting at our computer screens, its getting very boring. We're hosting our first Thanksgiving this year, invited my parents up and apparently my brother will be tagging along which is and isn't all that exciting. Halloween is quickly approaching and so is Christmas, just 84 shopping days left. Yeah, I said it. We bought 230 pieces of candy for an estimated 15 kids - we'll both be getting fatter shortly. Kitty ate through my iSight's firewire cable again for the second time - but its not getting replaced again since I never use it and any notion I had of podcasting just isn't going to happen soon. At home my creative juices are just all gone, I don't blog anything but news with little else. I haven't painted in many months. Anything creative is all done at work - I've been learning the InDesign pretty well and starting to make some pretty cool things. I'm probably on the bottom in terms of quality of work, but I'm covering ground pretty quickly and I'll be taking classes sooner or later on the clock. I've been wanting to take some classes for the design programs for quite some time, but haven't wanted to fork over the dough. Now I don't have to worry about.

Last night we watched "Downfall" - a pretty good movie in German. Made you almost feel bad for Hitler, but then you quickly snapped out of that idea. I dreamt in German all night - I really need to improve my speaking ability, but then when would I use it?

9.14.2005

Google Blog Search


Sweet!!

http://blogsearch.google.com/

I'm a stiff

Last night I got home from work just in time to go to bed, and tonight will probably be the same. Lovely!

9.11.2005

Minneapolis Farmer's Market

I probably can't say anything new about it, but I FINALLY got my ass over to the thing. It was packed way beyond any level I had imagined - and the offerings were stupendess. I have a fresh loaf of zuchinni bread in the kitchen begging not to be devoured before tomorrow.

9.07.2005

towleroad: Kathy, Kelly, Katrina and You

Towleroad is reporting Kathy Griffin is auctioning of a night with her and her "gays" to benefit the Red Cross. Damn't - this would be so cool! I have totally enjoyed her show on Bravo, "My Life on the D List."

9.06.2005

TO

Toronto was fun, the city not as busy as I might have expected for a holiday weekend. The weather was just right. But damn, thats a bit too much driving for a weekend in the land of the free.

9.01.2005

Yikes!

Oh boy! Its a long drive to Toronto! I must be crazy.

8.31.2005

Gas Prices Soaring!

Bill just called from the Atlanta area, announcing with horror, that gas prices have breached $6 and Columbus has reportedly run out of gas all together.

Awesome!

8.29.2005

Apple music event set for Sept 7


"1,000 Songs in Your Pocket" was just the beginning...

http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=1249

8.25.2005

Newsday.com: Idle brain invites dementia

Some research indicates daydreaming may be involved and indicative of Alzheimers. This is not good for your's truly - I daydream constantly - it's one of my favorite pastimes. Guess I know what I'll be doing when I'm in a home.

8.24.2005

CNN.com - Preparing for the end of 'Will & Grace'

Is this the end of 'Will & Grace and the presence of gays on mainstream television?! And with the development of LOGO, will the networks pass on gay characters, insisting there is a network for that?

Granted, 'Will & Grace' have had better seasons but look at the big picture. The landscape is slowly changing, but is it for the good?

Its here!


Google Talk

It is a Windows only program, but the service isn't. Which means Mac users can log into it with iChat - one less program to have open and taking up space! Instructions are here/

8.23.2005

Mini is getting a family


According to Autoblog, the next generation Mini will have seven different bodystyles to choose from - mostly from a longer wheelbase. There is even speculation of a truck model - if thats what you're into.

8.20.2005

Holy Crapola!

You can now rent a van for $20 from IKEA to take your stuff home. Perfect for hip urbanites who don't have the room in their little car to get that entertainment center home. Awesome!

8.19.2005

Fukitol



Via Powered By Gay.

We've been invaded

The house is currently under siege by renegade crickets. They blare their propaganda radio seemingly from the walls, hiding among the shadows, chasing us to the relative safety of the second floor. Kitty Xavier has been working hard to fight the terrorists - capturing rebels and torturing them for information. Those who don't give up information, are systematically dismembered and on occasion eaten (if I don't get to them in time). We recently discovered a barren battlefield in a remote section of the basement littered with bodies, it was a heinous scene of devastation. And as we surveyed the area, the rebel call could still be heard from nearby but nothing could be seen.

Rumors persist of a possible escalation in the fighting, with the possible use of chemical WMD.

8.16.2005

REALITY TV MY ASS

Alright, call me gullible but I really thought Jerry Hall's Kept man was going to have to perform as such for at least a little while. But that doesn't seem to be the case made apparent on the winner of VH1's The Kept, Seth's blog. Sure, he got the money, but he left the next day after the wrap party was over and then it was off to Hollywood for the guy to spend and drink his way back to the sucky life he was living beforehand.

So those questions about what they would do on a rainy day were total bullshit. I'm dissappointed - but the show was fun to watch.

REALITY TV MY ASS

Alright, call me gullible but I really thought Jerry Hall's Kept man was going to have to perform as such for at least a little while. But that doesn't seem to be the case made apparent on the winner of VH1's The Kept, Seth's blog. Sure, he got the money, but he left the next day after the wrap party was over and then it was off to Hollywood for the guy to spend and drink his way back to the sucky life he was living beforehand.

So those questions about what they would do on a rainy day were total bullshit. I'm dissappointed - but the show was fun to watch.

8.15.2005

GoogleNet??

Engadget is reporting on speculation that Google is planning network a massive Google WiFi network and will serve up Google Local ads to support it. Kind of makes sense in terms of boosting their local search and AdSense services - and damn you know it will be either free or really cheap as everthing else they do.

I love tech rumors - they get me up in the morning.

8.12.2005

The WTF Moment of the Day

Its a Purr Detector because, you know, its so hard to tell if the cat likes you.

8.11.2005

towleroad: CWFA: Starbucks Promoting Homosexual Agenda

Here's something positive about Starbucks - seems their cups include some positive messages the gay community can appreciate - though apparently the "Concerned Women for America" don't. towleroad fills in on the details including means to send a thank you to "Empire."

Fox News owner plans Internet expansion

Ok, we all know Murcdoch bought MySpace a few weeks ago, but now it seems he's planning to buy up even more properties - including a controlling stake in a search engine company.  No mention which company, but if its Google - we're all F'ed!!


Link

Umm, this isn't good

It seems that perhaps one in 25 dads might be raising another man's kids.  The article is more about the health risks involved of not knowing one's genetic history - but um, damn this isn't good.  And they theorize the rates could be even higher as paternity testing continues to become more prevalent.

Link

8.10.2005

It's in the dictionary now boys!


"Podcast" has been added to the America lexicon.  Take that Microsoft and your doomed "blogcast."  haha!

http://macdailynews.com/index.php/weblog/comments/6538/

8.09.2005

The end of QAF

Queer as Folk came to an end on Sunday night (I didn't catch it until last night - thanks Tivo). It was your typical last episode - all the loose ends were tied up neatly, most everyone got just what we wanted, quarels were settled and life moved forward. It was a good ending for the show I think, the pre-show was a little bit of a tear jerker - reflecting on its past and the impact it had on television. I know not everyone thought highly of the show - to be honest I wasn't always a fan - but it had its qualities in the good and the bad. I'll miss the characters I regained from watching this year, after avoiding it last season. All in all, it was good - but I fear the community may not have such a voice for awhile again. We do have Logo - and though it has some good shows - nothing to the extent of buzz QAF garnered.

Just when we need it the most.

Team achieves over 100 MPG in Toyota Prius


Um, this is just almost incomprehensible.  This team achieved an average of 110 mpg, driving over 1400 miles, of which 8 hours was spent driving with the low fuel light on.  I can't imagine driving that long with the light on - I break into a severe sweat if my light goes on even if I know a station is nearby.  Unfortunately this news doesn't give much for real-world use since they were taking advantage of the hybrid system and driving at low speeds, but I think it gives us a glimpse of the possibilities as technology improves.  Too bad Detroit doesn't seem to be joining the evolution.

http://www.autoblog.com/entry/1234000147053641/

8.08.2005

Surround Sound Headphones


I'm not sure if there are already surround sound headphones, but I think these sound pretty damn cool.  And they're only 50 bucks - not too shabby.

http://www.myirock.com/players/irock1051.asp

8.07.2005

The softer side of Starbucks

Ok, so not everyone really likes Starbucks, call them an evil empire eventhough we all know the evil empire is Microsoft. People always seem to bring up fair-trade coffee when arguing against Starbucks, eventhough you can buy the stuff in the stores. They are taking on a different angle, in helping supply drinkable water throughout the third world. Now obviously we all know bottled water is a scam - heard on the radio this week that it can have more bacteria in it than tap but thats another story - but now this $9.8 billion dollar industry can start doing some good besides making the rich richer.

8.04.2005

And the winner is...

Seth!! I've like the guy since the beginning of VH1's "Kept" in which Jerry Hall has a contest to pick her kept-man. She picked the cute, funny guy with nothing to lose. Austen was alright, be seriously not the cool cat Seth was. That "inquisition" killed my nerves.

First family of Windows Vista viruses unleashed

Macworld is reporting the first family of Windows Vista viruses has been released. I'm thinking this is a bad omen. "Most security experts had not expected to see a Windows Vista virus so soon, Hypp√∂nen said. “The only surprise here is that it came so early,” he said. “It’s been eight days since the beta of the operating system was out.” Honestly people, what were you expecting?! The security of Mac OS X - which has been out for several years already and still no virii anywhere to be found.

M&M's targets adults with mega-sized candies - Aug. 4, 2005


Apparently adults prefer bigger M&M's - but the adult-themed colors crack me up. How damn boring!!

8.02.2005

Apple - Mighty Mouse


Hell just froze over! Apple just came out with the Mighty Mouse, a multi-button mouse that is really something unique - and bless their hearts by keeping its looks. A regular design-fuck-you.

8.01.2005

"Sicko" already making headlines...

...and filming hasn't even started. One can only hope that Moore's movie might finally be what brings a flood of reform to the broken American health care system.

Moore Says Doc[umentary] Already Has HMOs Spooked - Yahoo! News

Dan Rather:

"The difference between love and sex is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug."

Smartmoney.com: Esquire Magazine: What I've Learned: Dan Rather

Dark Water

The Japanese version sucks!! I can't believe we watched the whole thing - thinking that an any moment the plot development would end and the horror movie would start but no. No that didn't happen, not even a real climax one could get behind. I hope, hope the new Hollywood version fixed all the mistakes and made a real movie.

7.29.2005

Google Personal Homepage

Maybe this has been out for awhile, but I kind of forgot about the site, which I can explain but whatever. Anyways, the Google personal homepage now has several additions for content, best of all it now takes RSS feeds - so the possibilities are pretty much limitless!!

Cooks of Crocus Hill


I got to enjoy Cooks of Crocus Hill with my new co-workers the other night. I had been the Grand Ave location before but left pretty quickly after realizing how expensive some of their cookery could be. But it turns out their real attraction is the kitchen upstairs. We all got together around the kitchen and made a lovely selection of French comfort foods. I made some salmon - but the chocolate souffle was the real hit. Damn, that was good (and not good for you - ouch!)

7.25.2005

Windows Vista

Not that I like marketing jokes, butThe Joy of Tech! puts a humorous slant on Windows' new name.

7.21.2005

Dear President Bush,

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's law. I have learned a great deal from you and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them:

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not to Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states that he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that, even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there "degrees" of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them (Lev. 24:10-16)? Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws (Lev. 20:14)?

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help.

(Thanks Renada for the email.)

7.19.2005

Eleventh Avenue South: Myspace.com Bought By Evil Corporation

Eleventh Avenue South has a good idea, join the Faux News MySpace Group in "protest" of Murdoch's purchase of the website - or ofcourse you can close your account...

Friendster pretty much sucks - Orkut?!

Spin Machine activating Prime Time

Seems we get the pleasure of Bush announcing his candidate for the Supreme Court tonight during Prime Time. At first I thought such an announcement was a little odd - especially since the candidate may not actually get appointed. Oh yeah, and then I realized all the media will start talking about that instead of firing the crimincal Karl Rove. Nice one!

Home for lunch

Being able to go for lunch is awesome - and kitty absolutely loves it. And its cheaper than going out!

7.17.2005

Queer as Folk

I just cried a good little cry in tonight's episode of QaF. Michael better make it through this thing - he's too cute!!

7.14.2005

Thomas with his New iBook, iPod, Printer, and Speakers

Thomas with his New iBook, iPod, Printer, and Speakers
Good Luck at school Thomas!! Glad you got a Mac!! (like you had a

choice)

7.04.2005

I've been busy

Ok, I'm finally feeling like writing again - just kind of a mental block and certainly not a lack of things to share. I ended my job almost two weeks ago, went on a fabulous trip to Toronto taking in the sites and enjoying a bit of the Pride festivities there. While on a layover in Chicago we heard the great news from Canada providing equal rights for all citizens - truly the "land of the free." (Made me a bit sad to be leaving.) Then just about 6 hours after getting back home, started at my new job. It was a bit embarassing yawning most of the day in front of my new employers and co-workers, but its been smooth sailing since. I'm starting to do all sorts of cool design projects, etc with a few deadlines already this week. Its nice to be in meetings with executives and feel like I not only belong but really contribute. I need to start pushing myself and getting my talents out there for people to notice. I am going to miss not having a website to manage anymore - but I'm cranking the old gear shafts and maybe I'll come up with something fruitful.

We also got a new camera, the Nikon Coolpix S1 - loving it! So after this post, I'll get the Toronto pics cleaned up and posted to .Mac and start sharing some more pics.

Ok, and why the hell is gas getting so expensive?! The cheapest within 5 miles of my home is $2.04 - but I saw 2.16 plus all day today.

Sandra Day O'Connor - what a curve ball! Fuck! We did not need that happening right now, and you know Rehnquist won't be far behind. Kind of makes me all warm inside to know I'll be moving to Canada.

6.25.2005

Its a 101F in downtown Toronto today. Damn't! Didn't they teach us in school that Canada was cold?! (j/k)

6.22.2005

5 1/2 Hours

Thats it! 5 1/2 hours and I leave this office pretty much for good. This time tomorrow I'll be on a plane headed for Toronto - hitting up the sites, taking in Pride, and scoping out the town. Six days and five nights of vacation - and the Smarties factory!!

6.20.2005

Not the thing a homeowner wants to see

Not to give away my location, but the top picure on this kare11.com web page is very close to my house! Four cars got stalled in the middle of the road, surrounded by several inches of water. We were wondering why the KARE 11 truck was parked down the street.

6.19.2005

Gas 1.0 Widget

It's finally here! A Gas 1.0 is a widget to find the cheapest gas in your area. I'm just about to install it so I don't know how good it is, but so far the ratings I'm seeing on VersionTracker are perfect scores!

6.15.2005


This is one sweet looking iPod speaker system. Better yet, the iHome has a built-in alarm clock. Engadget is stating it should go for about $100 - priced better than some other speaker systems. Posted by Hello

Apple and Sundance Channel sign podcast deal

Sundance is bring Air America's Al Franken show to the masses via iTunes soon-to-be podcasting abilities. This is a cool start for iTunes podcasts - I wonder what other awesome content might be in the works?!

"Widget Creator"

I am so trying this out when I get home. I don't know if I'll be able to make anything of it, but damn I want to try.

6.14.2005

MacIntel - coming fast!

MacDailyNews is reporting that Unreal Tournament 2004 for Macintosh has already been converted to run on a MacIntel. Thats pretty damn fast considering hardly anyone knew the switch was coming, and a good sign how easy the transition should be. I'm actually starting to get really excited about the possibilities of whats now possible.

6.13.2005

The Last Two Weeks

The last two weeks are the best weeks of a job, aren't they?! All those little things that used to irritate one to no end, suddenly haven't little impact. Work is virtually stress free, and when things start to heat up just a simple reminder relaxes everything. I'm loving it!

6.09.2005

T-Mobile tops J.D Power’s wireless customer care rankings

Ok, so maybe T-Mobile tops J.D Power’s wireless customer care rankings, and that is all good and all. Really appreciate the improvement over horrible customer service at AT&T Wireless and Cingular, but when are they going to hit us up with the cool phones?!

6.08.2005

MacIntel

I'm still not totally crazy about the idea, but I'm starting to see the potential. Or at least the Jobs distortion field has me - one of the two. But I'm thinking it might be easier for people to differentiate the differences between the Mac and PC if that hardware is the same. Than the adage, "Its the software, stupid" will really ring loudest and have a real impact. No more trying to explain how 2.5 could be faster than 3.7.

I will admit however, I'll probably save up to buy the most pimped out G5 unit I can get and be a holdout for as long as possible. But time could always change that.

Congrats Thomas!

I witnessed my brother graduate high school this past weekend, and then I'm heading back home this weeked for the little party. He's kind of acted like its a non-event - perhaps there is something genetic in our attitudes about graduation. I've been glad to be done with school and college, but both times I was utterly bitchy about the whole thing. Now imagine that I actually want to go back - 5 bucks I'll be a royal bitch the next time around too.

6.06.2005

Wall Street Journal, NY Times: Apple has informed industry partners of impending Intel shift

I am going to cry if this comes to fruition. I'll try to keep an open mind, but I just cannot get my mind around this possibility. I've been ignoring the rumors of late, but more and more 'reports' have been published making the rumor way too loud to ignore. Thank goodness Steve's keynote is starting in about 40 minutes. I'll be glued.

6.01.2005

And the hypocrit falls...

Spokane Council asks mayor to resign

'Will & Grace' star gets talk show

Tivo has some recording to do, as "Karen Walker" gets her own talk show. Naturally it won't be Karen Walker present, Megan Mullaly will be an incredible host - she's charming and has a great voice. Let's see what she can do.

5.31.2005

Lovely Weekend

I had a lovely weekend in Canada - we needed to make a run for the border for some official crap. But now its all taken care of and we got to enjoy some great weather. I figured the traffic was going to be horrible, but we made it to Windsor in 12 hours and back to Minneapolis is just 11.5 and that's including stopping for gas and at least one meal.

Checked out a placed called Callisantis (sorry on the spelling) Tropical Gardens. Its in Leamington I think, apparently the tomato and greenhouse capital of Canada. This place was huge, full of tropical plants (obviously) for great prices, but a restaurant, petting zoo, Nascar crap, reception hall, etc, etc. And all of it came out of a greenhouse years ago - amazing! Best part yet, they have things set up so American's can actually take plants back with them legally.

Hit up the Windsor Casino as well and won 'big' on the nickel slots. Well, I doubled my money and that paid for dinner and drinks. Works for me. One of the things I get a real kick out of, really the novelty of it, is their money. All the different colors, and being able to pay for your Starbucks with a couple of coins is really cool. Speaking of which, Starbucks doesn't really seem to adjust thier pricing for the exchange, so its actually a little cheaper to indulge oneself.

5.26.2005


This is too frickin' cool. Though I don't know how useful the iGuy would be, but I think I might have to consider one in July when the mini iGuy comes out. Posted by Hello

5.25.2005

Security Awareness for Ma, Pa and the Corporate Clueless

This blog has taken a new twist lately, its done by an IT guy who's sick and tired of the all the problems related to Windows computers. So what did he do, he switched his entire company to Macs, in just two days and didn't have to download a myriad of third-party products to secure the machines - they came that way.

Security Awareness for Ma, Pa and the Corporate Clueless

Nokia moving into the Tablet business?!

Seems Nokia plans to launch a new Linux based Internet Table this Fall, and its not a cellphone. I have to admit, it looks pretty cool, sounds like its going to work very well and may actually find a place in the market at only $350. Ofcourse, lots of such internet appliances have come and gone, but there is just something different about the Nokia 770.

Intel CEO Otellini: If you want security now, buy a Macintosh instead of a Wintel PC

There you have it folks, buy a Mac if you want security. And thats straight from the head of Intel!!

5.23.2005

Another commercial we'll never see

A littel IKEA commercial from across the pond that will never find air time in the states.

Oscillate Wildly: It's Wise To Hide The Sex Toys

iTunes 4.9 adding support for podcasts

Steve Jobs showed off iTunes 4.9 at a recent conference indicating built-in support for podcasts. This is going to be a huge boom not only for iTunes, but for the podcast market as well. Plus, the future possibility of being able to purchase podcasts - that's just going to improve the financial prospects for the fledgling market as well.

5.21.2005

Pride Toronto :: in 29 days...

...it starts, and in 32 days I'll be joining the party!

5.20.2005

Google at it again.

Google had previously said it wasn't going to get into the portal business, but that seems to have changed today with the launch of a personalized Google homepage. Its still very minimalist, but its really nice to have access to a mutlitude of Google services presented in one place.

All in all, I think its a nice start. Certainly not anything like My Yahoo!, but we can be sure Google will continue to add lots of great features. RSS is already in the works.

Fashionable Star Wars fans, take notice...

.. iPod toting bad guys.

501st Bad Guy Boogie Fitted Tee > JABBA HONEY FANGEAR

5.17.2005

Happy Birthday Bill! (& Me)

Happy Birthday Bill! (& Me)

Gay Pride Essentials on iTunes

May this has been out for awhile, but I just noticed Gay Pride iTunes Essentials on the iTunes Music Store. It looks like three collections in one, starting with earlier stuff on up to today. Very interesting.

I don't know if this link will work, but give it a try: Gay Pride: Boys

ABC Fall Lineup

ABC is going to axe Extreme Makeover - what the hell?!?! Everyone seems to love the show and it does such good work for people. My first thought is that its too expensive to carry on, but sooo.

The New Vespa LX


Ok, I'm drooling over this sweet lookin' ride. Posted by Hello

The New Vespa LX showed up in my inbox last night and its been on my mind ever since. It looks like a seriously refined and elegant machine. I think I need to take a test drive!

5.13.2005

Where are the terror alerts

I heard on Morning Sedition something about Tom Ridge stating that during the elections he was told to raise the terror alert even when it wasn't necessary or the intelligence wasn't around to back it up. Eleventh Avenue South: The Queen of the Homopocalypse points out Ridge's quote and goes on to show how the same strategy is being used today demonizing gays.

Should be an interesting weekend.

We have family coming to visit and stay for the next week. Should be fun, Bill's family is great and his two neices are just adorable. I'm sure kitty is going to be in heaven having all that attention available to him all the time. I'm looking forward to having meals around the table with lots of people; all the action and life all under one roof. Two people in a big house can became stale without an influx of thoughts and new events to share and discuss.

I'm not really sure what I'm saying, but I'm excited about our visitors. But as a caveat, being the introvert I am - when am I going to get 'me' time to recharge?!

Microsoft's Share of Browser Market Slips

Love pulling up the news and reading a report that Microsoft's share is slipping further as quality technology earns more market share. I use Firefox exclusively at work - keeps my desktop clean, organized and I've had no spyware problems since I started using it. My boss is still stuck on IE - which means I'm stuck cleaning his computer on a regular basis. But trust me, I do what I can to stear him towards the light.

A 20-year battery: BetaBatt

I think this is so cool - finally something niffty in energy technology. A startup is set to unveil tritium-powered batteries, likely to make them the first to commercially develop atomic powered batteries for the masses. The great thing about this technology, is that it won't be spreading dangerous radiation around (same stuff used in glow-in-the-dark watches), but will provide us with long lasting, efficient power sources. I wonder if this type of battery could be used for electric cars?!

5.11.2005

A Google Game: Guess-the-google (not by Google)

Its desribed as such: Guess-the-google reverses the Google image search process by picking the keywords for you, the player must then guess what keyword made up the image.

Play it now!

The Minimum Wage Increase?!

So I've been looking on news sites and I can't seem to find any mention of the minimum wage increase in Minnesota, yet I swear I saw a clip on the news last nigth of Pawlenty signing the bill into law. Sounds like its the $1.00 increase that was talked about, raising the wage to $6.15. As I recall this starts in August and marks the states first increase in 8 years!! Thats far too long - and now I wonder how long it will take to get the next increase made in this state.

But a better question, why is coverage of this news so hard to find?!

5.10.2005

DSC01030.jpg

DSC01030.jpg

Brother, Pebbles and I.

5.09.2005

The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post is now live!

Use iChat for all your IM needs

iChat in Tiger now lets users access all of the major IM services through Jabber. So no more do we need Yahoo IM and MSN IM running next to iChat. But the process of setting it up might not be obvious, so All Forces offers a visual guide to using MSN on iChat.

Xavier in the window.

Xavier in the window.

Xavier in the window.

5.06.2005

And for the Neo-Con Death Cult Members...

...we introduce to you the Alertstatus Dashboard widget. You will always know the current security status for das homeland, quickly and easily from your Dashboard with this handy, yet simple widget. Available now!

What a gift!!

So I hit the big 25 and as many people experience, their car insurance rates drop. Unfortunately, I switched a few months back to Costco Auto Insurance (underwritten by American Express) to save some money and get a mutli-use discount with the house insurance. So I thought my quarter-century discount wouldn't be a whole lot - hell, I figured I was a winner already saving quite a bit over State Farm's rates.

But then I got the letter (actually a few weeks ago, but I forget to mention it) notifying me my rate was going to decrease almost $750 dollars. That is a 38% price drop!!

Oh, and now I can rent cars.

5.05.2005

Ok, now you can wish me a Happy Birthday. I'm 25 today.

5.04.2005

Student reaction to Ann Coultier's show at St. Thomas

I dug up a pdf of the St. Thomas student newspaper and read the many articles and letters to the editor. Its almost unbelievable what some people say about Ann, both good and bad - some people actually don't get that she is preaching hate. WTF!

April 22, 05.pdf

5.03.2005

Flidget Screen Shot

flidget_200505021615
flidget_200505021615,
originally uploaded by ebartz.

Flidget

Apple posted a download for a new Dashboard widget, Flidget. Looks awesome, its a cool little app to upload pictures to your Flickr account. I don't use Flickr very often, but people love it and it works great for posting pictures to this site.

Gas Prices Widget

I wish I could program, but maybe someone has the guff to put a new widget together. Take the lowest gas prices posted on gasprices.com, or maybe twincitiesgasprices.com and show the cheapest gas nearest one's zip code. Awesome!!

Might someone put this together?

5.02.2005

The New Family Guy

So anyone want to take a guess at home many complaints FOX got this morning after the re-premiere of Family Guy? The opening scene was superb, really highlights some of the crummy shows that FOX has tried to shove down our minds since taking Family Guy off the air.

I laughed, I really did most of the time. But I couldn't help but think of all the people who are no doubt complaining today.

4.29.2005


April 29th is finally here! My copy is already at home, thanks to FexEx overnight - and I just ordered my copy from Apple yesterday morning and the shipping was free!! Posted by Hello

4.28.2005

Secret Option "C"

The Senate Dems are finally up to something - making sure the Republicans don't destroy the filibuster in the American government - and they've got a weapon Trent Lott titled, "The Nuclear Option."

Morning Sedition: Wednesday -- Secret Option "C"

AppleInsider | Apple to unveil .Mac 3.0 internet service

Rumor has it on AppleInsider Apple is planning to unveil .Mac 3.0 on Friday in sync with Tiger.

I'm excited to see how the new .mac features work with Tiger - make it more of a value. But I'm probably most intrigued about the redesigned interface and the new templates. One can always use more templates.

4.27.2005

Air America Place - Air America Radio mp3 Archive

i finally found it - I'm sure its been around for awhile, but we can now get podcasts of Air America Radio. For whatever reason I can't get the podcast links to work, but I could download the archive and copy it into iTunes.

A few months ago, the local Air America station got rid of Morning Sedition from my morning commute (actually they took it off, then brought it back at a much earlier time) and replaced it with a boring newspaper columnist. (Sorry, Mr. Coleman might be really good but I don't think he compares well with Marc and Mark.)

But that doesn't matter now.

4.26.2005

St. Thomas president denounces Ann Coulter's speech as hateful

I went to St. Thomas and I know how conservative campus can be, but I also knew most people intelligent with their thoughts, and respectful of others. So its with delight I hear the president denounces Ann Coulter's speech as hateful and not of the caliber that appropriate for St. Thomas.

Doug Grow: Mulling Twins ballpark plan no easy matter

I think Doug Grow of the StarTribune wraps up my thoughts on the Twin's ballpark plan pretty well, though I can't admit being a fan of the sport. I particularly like his analysis of the return on investment Pohlad is likely to see. For the $125 million he puts forward, he'll probably see $130 million in return, most of that upfront on the first day of operations in the new park.

So maybe a .05 tax increase could be proposed and perhaps that money could be used to fund education, healthcare and transportation. Yeah, that sounds good to me. Far more people will benefit from such a tax increase than a stadium that only helps the richer continue to get richer.

NewsFire gets Podcasts

NewsFire gets podcasts with its latest version and it does it beautifully. I just started in with podcasts this weekend, of course and started with Lucky Bitch Radio and hoping to find other great daily downloads.

4.25.2005

StarGate SG-1 Dashboard Widgets

Mac OS X Tiger isn't quite out yet, but more and more Dashboard widgets are finding their way onto the net. The first one I'll download will by theStarGate SG-1 Widget counting down the days until the next season.
Most people I've talked with aren't exactly thrilled with the new look of the VW Jetta, though the new grill is striking. As it turns out however, the new Jetta has received the best score ever in a side-impact crash test. That is totally awesome news, giving this car a little more interest.

4.24.2005

The US is getting SMART.

4.22.2005


The wait is almost over - in fact some people have already started to receive their copies! I can't wait - this is so damn exciting! Posted by Hello

4.21.2005

Google Ride Finder

I haven't seen any mention of this new feature, the news so far has been on Google Search History. Looks like its basically Google Maps with taxi companies already dotting the map. Kind of cool I suppose, especially if you're visiting a city.

iTunes Mobile to launch in June

I just can't imagine people actually paying $2 to $3 dollars per song, AND the data network fees to download those songs to one's cell phone. Its crazy to think people will do this - I still can't understand why people will pay just as much for 20 second ring tones.

Hopefully Apple and Motorola's phone will kick but and whatever this software does /, lets hope it does a great job.

4.20.2005

The Missing Sync for hiptop

I didn't think we would ever see it released, but The Missing Sync for hiptop or Sidekick has finally been released.

I had read on discussion boards that the software was ready, but the company wasn't getting permission to sell it for some damn reason. Finally, someone got a clue at T-Mobile or Danger - maybe we can read into this as further evidence T-Mobile is playing nice with Apple and will release the iPod Phone from Motorola. Haha - nah, too early to say.

4.19.2005

At least they finally picked a new pope and the media frenzy might finally start to die down and focus on some real news. Far more important things happening in the world than the election of a backwards thinker.

4.13.2005

Here here!

Powered By Gay

I echo Scott's sentiments and now apparently Bill Clinton's sentiments as well. Republican supporting gays have self-hate issues, period. Especially if you went as far as getting married to your male partner. HELLO!

4.12.2005

Smashing Pumpkins

Ok, no offense to mom and dad, but growing up I wasn't exactly exposed to much in terms of music, americana, chinese takeout, etc. I joke I grew up in a box with no lights. So when the discussion about when a song a came out, or about some old tv show - I usually have no idea what is going on. I remember when Beavis & Butthead came out, or rather when I didn't know they came out and were the hit of the summer. I show back up to school after the summer and thats all everyone is talking about - I still haven't seen an episode. I didn't really start listening to music until I was finishing highschool and going off to university.

So it should be no surprise that I don't know most of the work by 'Smashing Pumpkins'. However, I do know well enough that I like their work - so when I noticed last night their catalog was added to the iTunes Music Store. Well, lets just say all those winning Pepsi caps from my brother are finally getting used, and fast. So in a way, I'm only really discovering these guys about 12 years late. Hmm.

Seriously, don't have a cow. Get a cat! Posted by Hello

Minneapolis earning its tech cred

Our fair city of Minneapolis is soliciting bids for a Wi-Fi network across the entire city for everyone to use. Sounds like what they're really doing is connecting all the government buildings and city vehicles together on a wireless network and then extending the service to everyone in the area. I'm quite interested in how they will be intergrating the fiber optic network into the mix. The sweetness of it all if they started hard-wiring neighborhoods with fiber connections, but I'll still be happy with the wireless. Seems my next computer is going to be a laptop anyway - although I really do love the iMac.

Its ventures like this that will make the city great, not collosal money pits like a new stadium. Can you beleive they're actually talking about building two?!

Tiger - April 29th - 17 days!!!!

Mac OS X - Tiger

Learn all about it.

4.11.2005

Finally

Perhaps the end of the Yellow Pages horrific presence will be coming to an end. Apparently a new study is showing a rather steep decline from 75% to 62% in YP usage. I hates them, I hates them so much. I just get angry from my tippy toes when a new one has been dropped off at my door. And theres like a bunch of people who still think they can't live without them.

Photo 13.jpg

Photo 13.jpg

4.10.2005

The dark side

Ok, so mama gots a sweet tooth and I Love chocolate. But I'm afraid I
have to say dark chocolate M&Ms are just too much for me.

I'm ashamed.
--erik

Overheard while shopping in Costco

"So did anyone die in the house?"
--erik

4.08.2005

Desktops to shake a stick at

Check out mandolux« for some great desktops. Right now as I'm looking at it, a tribute to Starbucks. But in the archives for March 23 its titled: "Firefox: Always Use Protection."

Photo 12.jpg

Photo 12.jpg

I'm getting no work done today.
--erik

4.07.2005

New .Mac member benefit

Apple is now giving .mac members a 30-day free trial for T-Mobile HotSpots. Pretty cool, and if you sign-up for the full service you'll get 20 free songs in iTunes.

Now if only T-Mobile and Apple would work to make the Sidekick iSync compatible.

Minimum wage increase advances to MN House floor

Finally some progress! 6.65 is barely much to talk about, but considering minimum wage hasn't been increased in seven years its high time we did something.

People always balk at change, but in the end everything works out just fine.

Daylight time would start early, end late in energy saving move

Any move to reduce daylight savings time is good one in my book, especially since it reduces oil consumption (no matter how small).

4.05.2005

Starbucks Coffee Liqueur

Has anyone gotten their lips on this yet? I'm not much of a drinker, but I love Starbucks and as such I'm totally fascinated with just about everything they do.

4.01.2005

House OKs citizen vote on gay marriage

House OKs citizen vote on gay marriage

A committment has been made by the House, and though the Senate indicates they will fight this off, I'm sure this vote strikes more than a bit of concern for a lot of people in this state. Discrimination doesn't belong in our constitution. Period.

Mom, if this passes I'll be moving with Bill back to Canada.

3.30.2005


Man, I love college. Check out these greeks at www.ipose.org who are raising money for tsunami relief. Posted by Hello

Its finally here!

The smoking ban starts taking effect tonight at midnight, and if I understand it correctly only Ramsey county has the exemption for places that make most of their money from liquor. So hopefully this means we can all go out for a night on the town and not stink to holy-hell the next day. I for one can't wait.

3.27.2005

untitled

My feet are killing me. I knew I should have stretched before starting
the day off. I'm just hoping I don't get one of those awful cramps in
the middle of the night. Those are the worst.

But speaking of feet, I found some hot shoes at Aldo. Hopefully I can
get them back home - they didn't have my size.
--erik

untitled

Photo 10.jpg

Photo 10.jpg

H&M

Damn, I love that store. Lots of fun stuff and the prices were just right. Bought some shorts - wish I could wear them and be in the middle of summer. The weather is finally starting to pick up - both here and in Minneapolis. I can't wait to roll the windows down and enjoy it.

This morning, I headed out of the hotel down the street to a Starbucks. Its a lot of fun for me just to walk solo and look around and daydream just a bit.

Chatted with my brother this morning- he got his first speeding ticket and got totally nailed. 15 miles over the speed limit - and he tells me he was tired. Not the right thing to tell me. I asked if mom and dad had yelled at him - and they hadn't so I yelled at him for a bit. It was more tough love than anything else - I felt good.

3.25.2005

Apple Store - Chicago

Well, I finally got there. Actually it was one of the first things I did once we got here. Umm, $32 for parking at the hotel I'm staying at?!! WTF! So we parked at the O'Hare and took the train in - maybe not the closest place we could have parked, but it'll be like less than half what the hotel parking would have cost.

I haven't bought anything yet - almost got some hot summer shoes at Aldo but they didn't have my size. :( I'll have to check out the local store back home. Anyway, I'm getting yelled at to get back to vacation...

Democracy--or the US Military--On the March

Democracy--or the US Military--On the March

By WILLIAM BLUM

I don't understand all this talk about how US actions in Iraq and
Afghanistan have inspired a "democracy movement" in the Middle East.
Well, actually, I do understand it. People are desperate to derive
something positive from all the horror wreaked upon the region by the
American interventions, something to reassure themselves that what their
country has done isn't so bad after all, that they themselves are not as
gullible as they were starting to feel.

The bad news is that they're being gullible again. The only country in
the area where anything of any political significance has recently
occurred is in Lebanon, with a burgeoning movement to make Syria remove
its armed forces. But this movement clearly arose from the murder of the
former prime minister Rafik Hariri on February 14, which has been blamed
on Syria. What does this have to do with the United States? Do the
people celebrating a US-inspired "democracy movement" think that the
United States was behind the assassination? In any event, Lebanon has
been a democracy for many years, as that word is loosely used by almost
everyone; i.e., they've had elections on a regular basis, at least as
credible as those in the United States, and a lively free press.

As to what happened in Iraq in January ... Imagine if during the Cold
War, Hungary had held an "election" under Soviet occupation, in which
the voters did not know the names of the candidates or what they stood
for, and no candidate or party called for the withdrawal of Soviet
troops. The American media would have had a field day poking fun at this
farce.

Even more farcical was the presidential election in Afghanistan shortly
before -- May I have the envelope, please ... The winner is Hamid
Karzai, long-time resident in the United States, Washington's
hand-picked, packaged, and groomed candidate, described by the
Washington Post as "a known and respected figure at the State Department
and National Security Council and on Capitol Hill."{1}

There were also elections in Palestine in January, which occurred
following the death of Yasser Arafat. Do the celebrators think that the
United States was behind Arafat's death as well? But here too, elections
were held before; it's how Arafat became president. Seumas Milne of The
Guardian in London recently observed that elections would have taken
place earlier than January if the US and Israel hadn't known that Arafat
was certain to win them. Milne adds: "The claim that democracy is on the
march in the Middle East is a fraud. It is not democracy, but the US
military, that is on the march."{2}

And now, class: In 25 words or less explain why the UN, the US, France,
Germany, Russia, Spain, and other nations are insisting that Syria leave
Lebanon without delay while saying not a word about the US withdrawing
from Iraq. There are most likely many more people in Lebanon who want
the Syrians to stay than people in Iraq who want the US to stay, one
reason being that Lebanon borders only on Syria and Israel.

American imperialists, old and new

George F. Kennan, who is credited with formulating the basic foreign
policy followed by the United States in the Cold War, died March 17 at
the age of 101. He was what is commonly referred to as an elder
statesman. In his years at the State Department he was recognized as the
government's leading authority on the Soviet Union, and as the founder
of the policy of "containment" of the Russians, a term he coined; he was
also one of the authors of the Truman Doctrine. One of his best-known
pieces of writing is "Policy Planning Study 23", written for the State
Department planning staff in 1948. It read in part:

"We have about 50% of the world's wealth, but only 6.3% of its
population. ... In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of
envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a
pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position
of disparity. ... To do so, we will have to dispense with all
sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be
concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. ... We
should cease to talk about vague and ... unreal objectives such as human
rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The
day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power
concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the
better."

This is worth repeating not only for its intrinsic interest and its
significance as a document of US foreign policy history, but as a means
for making a comparison to present day policy. Those who intensely
despise the leaders of the Bush administration are convinced that they
are uniquely vile in American history. I would maintain, however, that
there's very little of what we've come to fear and loathe about the
Bushgang that can't be found in many previous administrations, and that
if George W., on a purely personal level, were not such a crass,
ignorant, dishonest, and insufferably religious jerk, his policies would
be much more readily excused by liberals (though not by radicals) as
they excused similar policies under Clinton and other Democrats going
back to Truman.

What has distinguished the Bush administration's foreign policy from
that of its predecessors has been its unabashed and conspicuously overt
expressions of its imperial ambitions. They flaunt it, publicly and
proudly declaring their intention -- nay, their God-inspired right and
obligation -- to remake the world in their own image. The utterly
callous attitude toward human suffering that marks the current
administration's philosophy differs from Kennan's cold-blooded amorality
in that the Bushgang has rejected his advice and do indeed talk about
human rights and democracy ... ad infinitum. But so has every
administration post World War II. Kennan was surprisingly out of tune
with international public relations, or maybe he was just too honest to
be a diplomat.

So why is the Bushgang so intent on encouraging democracy all over the
world? Should that not be supported? Well, it depends on what you mean
by democracy, or what the Bushgang means by it. I think that what
Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice, et al look for in a "democratic" third
world country, or look to establish in that country, is that the
government is corporate-friendly, that the society has the legal and
financial institutions needed to remake the country so that it's
appealing to foreign investors, that it will play ball with the World
Trade Organization, the IMF, and the rest of the international financial
mafia, and most important, that it is a capitalist system, enterprise
nice and free, none of this socialist crap. That's what they mean by
democracy. Least of all have they in mind any kind of economic
democracy, the closing of the gap between the desperate poor and those
for whom too much is not enough.

The United States and the women of Afghanistan

Last month Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis, who commanded the 1st Marine
Division in the 2003 Iraq invasion, told a conference in San Diego:
"It's fun to shoot some people. ... You go into Afghanistan, you got
guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a
veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's
a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."{3}

Some may be offended by the general's expressed relish for killing (and,
indeed, he was rebuked by the Marine Corps Commandant), but his remarks
about Afghanistan can only paint him and the United States as zealous
supporters of women's rights in Afghanistan and lend credence to George
W.'s claim of same. This would be rather ironic given the following
slice of history that likely has never seen the light of a clear day in
the mainstream media.

In the 1980s the United States played an indispensable role in the
overthrow of a secular and relatively progressive Afghan government, one
which endeavored to grant women much more freedom than they'll ever have
under the current government, more perhaps than ever again. Here are
excerpts from a 1986 US Army manual on Afghanistan discussing the
decrees and the influence of the government concerning women:
"provisions of complete freedom of choice of marriage partner, and
fixation of the minimum age at marriage at 16 for women"; "abolished
forced marriages"; "bring [women] out of seclusion, and initiate social
programs"; "extensive literacy programs, especially for women" ...
"putting girls and boys in the same classroom"; "concerned with changing
gender roles and giving women a more active role in politics".{4}
Neither the awful Taliban regime, nor the Islamic fundamentalist regime
which immediately preceded it, would ever have come to power if the
United States had not overthrown this government. And why did the United
States in its infinite wisdom choose to do such a thing? Why, simply
because the Afghan government was allied with the Soviet Union and
Washington wanted to draw the Russians into a hopeless military
quagmire. The women of Afghanistan will never know how the campaign to
raise them to the status of full human beings would have turned out, but
this, some might argue, is but a small price to pay for a marvelous Cold
War victory.

Monkeys still on trial

Christian fundamentalists are waging a many-pronged assault on the
teaching of evolution in public schools. At the state and local level
they use lawsuits and school board debates to counter evolutionary
theory. The Alabama and Georgia legislatures recently introduced bills
to allow teachers to challenge evolution in the classroom; other states
have approved new rules allowing the same; some localities paste
stickers on science textbooks saying that "Evolution is a theory, not a
fact." Students are encouraged to report teachers who don't give "the
other side". Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), a supporter of this campaign,
recently stated: "Anyone who expresses anything other than the dominant
worldview is shunned and booted from the academy. My reading of the
science is there's a legitimate debate. My feeling is let the debate be
had."{5}

Okay, but would they be willing to allow their tactic to be extended to
political subjects? Would they permit stickers to be placed on history
textbooks that say something like: "The idea that the United States has
been a force for good in the world is a theory, not a fact."? Or
stickers on economics texts which read: "For every free-enterprise
'success story' recounted in this book, there are many thousands of
victims unmentioned." Let the debates be had.
The fundamentalists are not really as open minded as they would like to
sound. What they'd really rather have is just creationism being taught
and have evolution ousted from the classroom, but that strategy did not
fare too well some years ago because of the sticky little issue of
separation of church and state.

Not too long ago, creationists seized on a tactic that was devilishly
clever. They began to say that the idea of evolution was no threat to
their beliefs, for it was God who had created evolution. That approach
seems to have been abandoned. Evolved, one might say.

The Hugo Chavez News Service

On more than one occasion in the past 18 months, Venezuelan president
Hugo Chavez has accused the United States of planning to assassinate
him; other Venezuelan officials have made the same charge, including the
Military Intelligence Directorate, which claimed to have "overwhelming
evidence" of a CIA-backed plot to bring down an airplane Chavez almost
used in September 2003 to visit the United States for meetings in
Washington and at the UN. The flight was abruptly cancelled.{6}

I don't know if the assassination story is true, but it certainly can't
be dismissed out of hand, as the American press has done by using its
favorite weapon, silence. The United States has already tried a general
strike, a coup, and a referendum against Chavez, all failing to unseat
him; assassination or invasion are about the only arrows poor Uncle Sam
has left in his quiver. It should be kept in mind as well that the
United States has been involved in the assassination, or planning for
same, of close to 50 prominent foreign political leaders since the end
of the Second World War.{7}
If the story is indeed true, it's a very smart move on the part of
Chavez to publicize it in advance. "If anything happens to me, the
person responsible will be President George W. Bush," Chavez has
declared.{8} This can't help but make any Washington assassins think
twice.

Another story the US media has ignored, which many people also had to
learn about from Hugo Chavez, oddly enough has to do with Iraq. This is
the story of Dr. Khalid ash-Shaykhli, an official at Iraq's health
ministry, who said that the US military used banned weapons during its
deadly offensive in the city of Fallujah. Dr. ash-Shaykhli was assigned
by the ministry to assess the health conditions in Fallujah following
the November assault there. He said that research conducted by his
medical team proved that American forces used internationally-prohibited
substances such as mustard gas, nerve gas, and other burning chemicals
in their attacks in the war-torn city. The health official announced his
findings at a news conference March 1 in the health ministry building in
Baghdad which was attended by more than 20 Iraqi and foreign media
networks, including the Washington Post and the Knight-Ridder service
from the United States.{9} The Associated Press reported the story {10},
citing Chavez as the source, but no mainstream media appear to have
found it newsworthy; this stands in sharp contrast to repeated
criticisms by conservatives that the American "liberal" media report
only the bad news from Iraq.

America's report cards for a naughty world

Are the people in the State Department capable of feeling embarrassment?
What do they tell their children they do for a living? The Department
released its annual human rights report February 28 in which it
criticized countries for a range of interrogation practices it labeled
as "torture", including sleep deprivation, confining prisoners in
contorted positions, stripping and blindfolding them, and threatening
them with dogs ... Yes, that's right, the same methods used repeatedly
by the United States on detainees at its far-flung prison empire.
Moreover, the US turns over prisoners to be "interrogated" (wink, wink)
to countries the State Department human rights report cites for the use
of torture, a practice known as "rendition", of course making sure to
first obtain a promise (chuckle, chuckle) from those countries that they
will not torture the prisoner.

The State Department also puts out other annual report cards on the rest
of the world, evaluating them on religious freedom, terrorism (state
supporter of and uncooperative with the war on), drugs, and trafficking
in persons. I'm waiting for evaluations on hypocrisy and condescension.

Our bodies, ourselves

All the hullabaloo about steroid use by baseball players inspires me to
return to a question I raised in this report last summer in regard to
the Olympics. Presumably steroids are banned because they give an
athlete an unfair advantage over athletes who are "clean". But of all
the things that athletes, and other people, put into their bodies to
improve their health, fitness and performance, why are steroids singled
out? Doesn't taking vitamins give an athlete an unfair advantage over
athletes who don't take them? Shouldn't vitamins be banned from sport
competition? How about various food supplements, for the same reason?
Vitamins and food supplements are often not any more "natural" than
steroids, which in fact are very important in our body chemistry. Why
not ban those who follow a healthy diet because of the advantage this
may give them?

William Blum is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA
Interventions Since World War II, Rogue State: a guide to the World's
Only Super Power
[http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1567511945/counterpunchmaga].
and West-Bloc Dissident: a Cold War Political Memoir
[http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1887128727/counterpunchmaga].
[http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1567511945/counterpunchmaga]

He can be reached at: BBlum6@aol.com [mailto:BBlum6@aol.com]

NOTES
--ebartz

Chi-town

I'm finally on my way to Chicago, instead of just through it, which
means I finally get to visit the bigger-than-mine Apple Store. I'm
virtually ecstatic except that the weather was better back home.
--erik

3.24.2005

Chantico

Has anyone tried Chantico yet? I missed the introduction hour and just haven't convinced myself to pay for it just yet, since its not an expresso drink to my knowledge.

3.20.2005

So far so good

T-Mobile has been awesome so far. The customer service has been
astounding, but then I am also comparing it to Cingular which sucks BIG
time. I can't believe they give me unlimited data on my Sidekick - it
doesn't get much better than that. I am also told they'll be finding
their way into Canada soon as well. So calling there will be even
cheaper and service there all the better. Oh and don't forget Boxing
Day - I'm sure they will awesome sales on new phones. Haha - loves it!
--erik

3.18.2005

Sidekick Posting

Just trying it out.
--ebartz

I'm happy....and frightened

It appears 2006 will usher in years of horrible gridlock, although it means the state's worse bottleneck will finally be fixed. Looks pretty cool and hopefully it will work.

3.16.2005

SpiderBot by John Deere


This has got to be one of the coolest things I have ever seen, and to think its actually made by a John Deere subsidary. I would love just to run around in one of those, even if just for a little bit. Wonder if my hometown's local dealership will be carrying one of these on its lawn. I'd take it for a joyride! Posted by Hello

Google X

I was just mentioning along with SparklesMpls how cool Google is, and then they come along and create Google X. It is nothing particularly special in that it does something radically cool, but they do pay homage to Mac OS X and who can't love that! Bookmark it people!!

"Roses are red. Violets are blue. OS X rocks. Homage to you."

3.15.2005

TiVo sticking around afterall

Most everyone loves TiVo, and those who don't love it probably have no idea what it is, still piss outside, and say yee-haw after sex. But its reported that TiVo and Comcast have come to an agreement to use TiVo technology for the cable company's subscribers. I don't particularly care about the Comcast deal, but this means TiVo is sitting on firmer ground and might actually stay around a bit longer. For a while there it wasn't looking too good.

Its not like I really need it, and I know these things have been hacked in the past, but what the hell I've wanted one forever.  Posted by Hello

3.11.2005

Google News Just Got BETTER

I'm quite a fan of Google News since I'm sort of a news junkie. It does a great job of bringing together news articles from like 4500 news sources in the country all into one convenient page. Even if it was biased towards Bush during the election, but I can look past that for the time being.

Google has added customization to the page. So now I don't have to look at the Sports headlines ever again, and better yet you can create personlized news sections. I of course, added an 'Apple' section just so I'm up with multiple sources on the latest Apple news. Which by the way joined the Sony's Blu-Ray bandwagon - perhaps in part a concilliatory gesture for kicking their asses in mp3 players?!

Could Apple be finally planning to market the hell out of the Mac and be serious about exploding their market share?! It seems CFO Oppenheimer is feeling pretty good about Apple's position in the market, and really who isn't but that is beside the point. A lot of Mac users and 'followers' have oft complained that Apple doesn't market Mac OS X, iLife or much of the hardware other than iPods. When was the last time you saw an ad for the iMac?! Not to mention the Mac mini. Posted by Hello

3.10.2005


I want this phone!! (the pic is of two models, but I'm not picky.) Posted by Hello

3.09.2005

Go Dean! Go!

Dean: Democrats raise $3.4 million in three weeks

Ok, so its not as much as the GOP has raised, but its double what the Dems have done before. Hopefully this is the first 'victory' in a string of many.

3.08.2005

MacCentral's headline says it all: Apple's iPod has blood on its Click Wheel: Virgin Electronics is dead

Now this is cool science!

I didn't realize that fusion technology had come this far along, but then again shouldn't we be farther ahead than this already?! I just hope all six of these countries can make a decision jointly and get this project rolling forward. Cheap, abundant energy would be huge for humanity - and besides I think this would be really, really cool!!

3.04.2005

"Bush makes rare Bin Laden pledge"

Holy Crap!! I didn't know Bush even remembered who Bin Laden was, nevermind acknowledge that he must be brought to justice.

3.03.2005

A library on Long Island is loaning out audio books using iPod Shuuffles and so far its been a success. I had no idea audio books on CD could cost up to $75 - thats crazy especially considering audio books from iTunes are priced like regular books.

I've never bought an audio book, the idea appeals to me but I just think it should be cheaper than a paper book. But then again, what would I put in my book case?!

3.02.2005

I've got Tivo now (again, but its here to stay). The last time we couldn't get it working, didn't like dialing through Vonage. But Tivo2 pulled through for us, and now its connected to the internet wirelessly. Downloading the program schedule, allowing me to remotely schedule recordings just an hour before a show starts and streaming my pictures from iPhoto and most of my music in iTunes. However, TivoToGo doesn't seem to work yet on the Mac - I've very disappointed and hope its fixed soon. Posted by Hello